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When you host a national radio show, you hear all kinds of voices.
A famous photographer asked me how to keep his erotic photos of his wife safe and private. Spoiler: don’t just upload them to iCloud or Google Photos. Tap or click here to store private photos securely.
I spoke to a daughter who was stalked and harassed. I’m proud to say that I gave her the right help and brought those responsible to justice. Click or tap to see the horrific details. This nightmare can happen to anyone.
I am proud to say that I built my multi-million dollar business with no debt and no investors. It has been beneficial to me to help the many small business owners who call and need help getting their companies off the ground or overcoming major obstacles. I have been there myself.
Here’s the advice I got from the trenches.
Privacy Tip: 5 Ways You’re Being Tracked You Must Stop Now
1. Know Your Competitors
Unless you’re really going rogue with a brand new product or service, your customers are already there and spending their money elsewhere. Competitor research is one of the best ways to know what is and isn’t working in your industry.
It’s also a smart way to understand what your customers want, including what they expect to pay and what you expect to earn.
Find a few companies that do what you want and become a student. “How much can I learn here?”
Research their website. What stood out and what wasn’t so good? You can use Visualping to monitor how your website changes over time. This free tool allows you to enter a website to track, and you’ll receive email alerts when that website changes. You’ll know if your competitors have created great new landing page copy or replaced their photos. Tap or click the direct link to try it out.
Follow your competitors on social media and subscribe to their newsletters. Take note of any posts that generate a lot of comments or shares.
Sign up for Google Alerts for your business name, competitors, and a meaningful industry term or two. Click or click here for steps to set up Google Alerts. I recommend that you use weekly alerts. Daily alerts can get overwhelming.
Get my trusted small business advice straight to your inbox. It’s completely free. Try it here.
2. Brand yourself with a memorable domain name
A strong web presence is essential; the first step is securing the domain name. You want something easy to remember, clear and concise. No one remembers a six-character URL.
There are advantages for doctors, lawyers or other professionals to use their names in their business.hey my site is Komando.com.
How much does a domain name cost? Let’s take GoDaddy as an example. For a .com address, you’ll spend about $19.99 a year, and only a penny for the first year. You can get a .me email address for $6.99 the first year, then $21.99 per year. A .biz URL can be purchased for two years for a total price of about $37.
Of course, the best domain ideas are meaningless if they are adopted. Namech_k simplifies the process for you. Enter your idea and see if it’s registered or open. Nor are we just talking about .com or .net. It checks for .us, .info, .biz, etc.
It will also search social media sites to see if your preferred name is brought there as well. Consistency is key because it helps people find you faster. That’s why I’m @kimkomando on every social media platform, no matter what, I invite you to follow me. Click or click here for pro tips on using Namech_k.
3. Speaking of Websites, Make Your Website Smarter
SEO is more than just the keywords that get you to the top of Google search results. optimized website Lightweight, fast to load, and compact enough to keep visitors from getting stuck in questionable dropdowns.
When in doubt, you can hire a professional developer to conduct an on-site audit, which can uncover frustrating flaws and disappoint customers. You can also run these free online tests to see the most important issues with your website.
A common problem is the design of your website. Remember that mobile performance is just as important as how your website looks on a desktop monitor. Today’s website building tools make it easy to create a website that looks good and works well on every device.
It’s worth browsing what these monthly fees get you. For example, Squarespace’s business plan includes advanced website analytics and a year of professional email through Google. Wix gives you access to drop shipping inventory and 100 GB of storage.
4. Don’t Forget Email Marketing
I’ve been in the email marketing game since 1995. Back then, I would send an email every week. These days, my team generates a dozen different emails, sending millions each month, with an average open rate of over 50%. Click or click here to try my free tech and digital life newsletter.
I have to figure out a way to get it back in time. Today, there are tools that make creating and sending beautiful, eye-catching emails a breeze. Here are some factors to consider:
Mail Chimpanzee: Free up to 10,000 emails per month (2,000 per day). Paid plans start at $11 per month and include email templates and custom branding.
continuous contact: You’re billed for the number of email addresses you import, starting at $9.99 per month, up to 500. Up to 2,500 email addresses will cost $35 per month.
Emma: From $99/month for up to 10,000 contacts. You can add up to five users and set up email automation campaigns to attract new customers.
center point: Ideal if you need a robust marketing and contact center. The free plan is powerful and you can add up to a million contacts. Paid plans that include support, automation, and custom branding start at $45 per month for up to 1,000 contacts.
5. Get paid easily
Traffic is increasing, but you’re not making more money. Your customers may hit a wall.
Are they frustrated with inconvenient payment methods? Are there technical errors preventing them from closing the sale? Go through the entire checkout process yourself, use a VPN or an incognito window to view your website as a visitor. Watch out for anything that doesn’t go well.
If your payment processing options don’t meet the standards, consider the following:
square: Pay a flat fee plus a percentage of sales. Fees depend on transaction type. For example, it will cost you 3.5% of your sales plus 15 cents for a customer to enter a card number online.
Paypal: PayPal’s checkout is similar. Standard credit card payments are 2.99% plus a 49 cent fee.
stripe: For credit card charges, pay 2.9% plus 30 cents.
6. Pay only for what you need
There are some fees that are out of the question, but I bet I can save you a little money with this gem: most popular paid software have free versions, and they’re just as good.
Instead of Microsoft Office, View LibreOffice or Google Docs and Sheets.
For editing photos, I love GIMP, Pixlr X and Canva. Tap or click here to see the pros and cons of each option.
DaVinci Solutions It is an excellent free video editing software.
bold is a free audio editing program used by professionals.
Checklist: 10 Tech Customer Service Phone Numbers, and the Secret Way to Know Wait Times
7. Get advice from other professionals
The Federal Small Business Administration has more resources than you might think. Use this link to find free or low-cost training or business advice in your area. If you’re just starting out, you can also find guidance on creating a business plan, registering a company, and handling day-to-day operations.
SCORE can also connect you with business mentors who can help you start or grow your company – and it’s free. The nonprofit operates the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts. If there is no club in your area, you can get help by email, phone or video.
I want to help you.
You can also contact me. I get emails and phone calls from small business owners every day and I’d love to help. Email me here. I have read it myself.
If you want to learn more about my business and life, listen to the podcast below. I was interviewed about the ups and downs of my success and had a lot of tough questions.
I started my business more than twenty years ago. I have no investors and have no debt. Honestly, the first few years were a struggle. However, I embraced the struggle and went through some of the toughest times of my life in search of peace. In this podcast, I tell stories and talk about moments in my life that I don’t share very often.
Find my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Just search for my last name “Komando”.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have?Call Kim’s national radio program and Click or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Comando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to view Kim’s free podcast.
Copyright 2019, West Star Multimedia Entertainment. all rights reserved.
Learn about all the latest technologies The Kim Comando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletter, and more, visit her website: Komando.com.